Effectiveness of Personalized Music Systems to Influence Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Associated With Dementia: A Quasi-experimental Study


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CONTEXT: Studies have shown that music can improve the neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with dementia. Personalized music has the greatest impact. However, people with dementia in residential care rarely listen to personalized music; in doing so, they themselves as well as their caregivers pass up the positive effects associated with it. As a result, customizable music systems have been developed that allow people with dementia to listen to their favorite music. AIM: To determine the effectiveness of personalized music systems on the neuropsychiatric symptoms of people with dementia in residential care and the perceived distress of caregivers. METHOD: 14 residents heard personalized music during personal care for eight weeks. Outcomes were derived from pre-post-follow up assessments of residents' neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregivers' distress using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q). The frequency of the music systems' usage was recorded in log files. A control group of 14 residents received standard care. RESULTS: Caregivers used the music systems among the residents with varying frequency. During the intervention, an increasing trend of the severity value of apathy was observed, while the severity values of delusions and nighttime disturbances tended to decrease. However, the trends did not reach statistical significance. Caregivers' perceived distress was not affected. CONCLUSION: A practicable solution for providing personalized music to people with dementia in residential care was tested. Possible positive effects were observed for delusions and nighttime disturbances in people with dementia, but a larger study will be required to verify these observations.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Caregivers; Long-Term Care Facility; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychiatric Symptoms; Questionnaires; Receptive Music Methods; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Caregivers; Dementia; Apathy; Caregivers; Delusions; Dementia; Distress; Nighttime disturbances; Receptive music intervention

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


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